Ed Dept calls out colleges that hiked tuition by 50 percent

The Department of Education has listed the 5 percent of colleges that hiked their tuition by the largest percentages over the past three years. The new listing is part of an effort to make college pricing more transparent to young people.

Northern New Mexico College, Georgia State University, San Diego State University, and Florida State College at Jacksonville topped the list with tuition increases hovering around 50 percent since 2007.

But many public universities are still much more expensive than those doing the most egregious tuition-raising. You can use the Ed Department tool to find out which colleges--private or public--are most expensive overall, even after scholarship and grants are taken into account. The University of Texas Health Center at San Antonio topped the public universities' most expensive list at $24,192 in net costs per year for an in-state student. Pennsylvania State University, Miami University at Oxford, Rowan University, St. Mary's College of Maryland, and University of Guam followed closely behind.

A pricey four-year private college will set you back by a lot more, however: Bates, Connecticut, Middlebury, Union, and Colby Colleges all had tuitions of more than $50,000 per year, including fees and room and board. After scholarships and grants are taken into account, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., is the most expensive, at $39,672 per year.

In-state tuition has jumped 7.9 percent just this year, according to a recent study. According to data from the National Association of Budget Officers, 18 states cut spending for both K-12 instruction and higher education in fiscal 2011, by $1.8 billion and $1.2 billion respectively. But proposed cuts for the next fiscal year are much steeper: They total $2.5 billion for K-12 schools--and more than $5 billion for higher education.